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Full text of "Flora Indica Vol-I"

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180                                       FLORA  INDTCA,
phorbiacetBj Meliacea, Eauhmia^ Bombay Morns, Artocarpus,
and other Urticacea, and many Leguminoscs; and the under-
growth consists of Acanthacea, Bamboos, several Calami, two
dwarf Arecce, Wallichia, and Caryota wrens.   Plantains and
tree-ferns, as well as Pandanus, are common; and, as in all
moist tropical countries, ferns, orchids, Scitaminea, and Pa-
thos are extremely abundant.   Pew oaks arc found at the base
of the mountains, and the only conifers are a species of Podo-
carpus and Pirns longifolia, which frequents the drier slopes
of hot valleys as low as 1000 feet above the level of the sea,
and entirely avoids the temperate zone.     The other tropical
Gymnosperms arc  Gycas pecMnata and  Gnetum scandens,
genera which find their north-western limits in Sikkim.
The rarity of oaks at the base of the mountains must be
ascribed to the great dry ness and winter's cokl of that part of
the chain, for we miss also other eastern typos which abound
in the equable and moist climate of the Malayan archipelago
and pfcninsula, such as Liquidambar and nutmegs; whilst Di-
pterocarpea, and especially Anonacea, arc exceedingly few in
number. Liquidambar is common in the Assam jungles, and
indicates their greater humidity. The same inference may bo
drawn with regard to the tropical bclt-of the Khnsia, from the
occurrence tlfcrc of two nutmegs and numerous Anonncwe.
"Oaks, of which (including clicsnnts) there arc upwards of
eleven species in Sikkim, become abundant at about 4(XX)
feet, and at 5000 feet the temperate scene commence^ the
vegetation varying with the degree of Itunwlity. On the
outermost ranges, and on northern exposures, there* i« n drip-
ping forest of cherry, laurels, Oakland chosnuts, Mugiwfia,
Atulromcda, Stymie, Pyrittt, maple and birch, with an nuclei1-
growth of Ara/iacea, UollbolKa, Jtimouia, DaphM, Ardma,
Mymim, Symflocos, Rttlti, And a prodigious variety'of form.
Plectoromia and Mtftta ascend to 7(XK) foot. On drier expo-
sure* bamboo and tall grass«e» form the underwood* Eliodo-
dcndrons appear below ()()()() feet, at which clcvntion yuow
falls occasionally. l«Von» (m^,<X)() itvr.there is no apparent